Tri-Cities retail sales tax collections take a thumping


Tri-Cities retail sales tax collections took a solid thumping in March as did most other state metro areas. The silver lining to that news is two Tri-Cities Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) got off easier than the rest of the state. The two were: Morristown and Kingsport-Bristol.

CLICKING CHART RENDERS A LARGER VERSION

U.S retail sales fell for the second straight month, and the March drop was more than expected, according to the Commerce Department.

Auto sales led the decline, and gas-station sales posted one of the biggest drops of all businesses. Market watchers say the downturn in auto sales is going to be a headwind for retail in general.

Across Tennessee retail sales tax collections were down 6.2% from March last year and 9.8% from April, according to data from Middle State Tennessee State University Tracking Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Web page.

The March-to-April tracking here in Northeast Tennessee was almost a dramatic as it was on the state level, but the year-to-year comparison was a little more encouraging in Morristown and Kingsport-Bristol. The Johnson City and Knoxville MSAs saw year-over-year declines of 5% or better.

Here’s what those month-to-month comparisons look like followed by the year-over-year comparisons.

-Johnson City MSA – down 6.6%, down 5%
-Kingsport-Bristol MSA – down 6.7%, down 1.9%
-Knoxville MSA – down 9.1%, down 5.8%.
-Morristown MSA – down 9.4%, down 0.4%.

The Chattanooga MSA took the biggest collection hits – down 14.6% from April and down 12.2% from March last year.

Here in the Tri-Cities, the declines followed February’s collections high point for this year. And one reason for the big drops is March last year was a highest year-over-year increase since February 2012. And it was the 9th straight month that the year-over-year collection Tri-Cities tend saw its two metro areas tacking each other.

The share of collections was unchanged from February – Johnson City claiming 48.5% of the region’s total collections. Kingsport-Bristol has claimed a slightly larger share of collections in all by nine months of the past six years. Johnson City’s share has been in the 48% range since October of last year.

Total collections in the Tri-Cities were at a 24-month low.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Tennessee’s April retail sales tax collections rebounded from March’s funk everywhere except Kingsport-Bristol Metropolitan Statistical Area […]

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